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From unemployed airline pilot to GA flying instructor.

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From unemployed airline pilot to GA flying instructor.

Old 19th May 2020, 06:25
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From unemployed airline pilot to GA flying instructor.

With hundreds of airline pilots already out of work and the probability of more to come, some may desire to keep flying by taking up instructing as a fall-back while the future sorts itself out.
For those ex airline pilots, most of whom are experienced, what are the first steps they must take to become CASA qualified flying instructors?

Apart from the flying hours should there be a significant difference in ground theory knowledge between a grade 3 instructor and (say) grade 2 or grade 1? For example do CASA allow credit for prior learning such as PMI, Human Factors or other allied subjects, if previously undertaken in an airline?

How many dual flying hours and approximate costs can be expected during training from airline pilot to general aviation instructor?
With a huge number of unemployed airline pilots no doubt visiting Centre Link offices to discuss their financial future, there could be a wealth of experience dumped on the market to train future pilots. Your educated answers to some of these questions could be of great help to those concerned
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Old 19th May 2020, 07:14
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Shirley you jest.... I think there may be a shortage of students, not instructors. Iím also not sure that airline experience translates well into GA.
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Old 19th May 2020, 07:18
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You will still need to complete the entire syllabus of training to gain a Grade Three instructor rating, though it may be that your overall understanding is more in-depth than a 150-hour pilot.
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Old 19th May 2020, 07:21
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You'll need to sit the CASA PIRC (PMI) exam before finishing your flight instructor course. Or possess a CertIV in training and assessment.

The FIR course is subject to the syllabus of the school you choose. Generally you'll be looking at 200hours classroom and 30hours dual including a flight test with an FIR ATO. None of it's very hard, just time consuming. Different quailities of flight instructor are produced from different schools from my observations.

I'd wager most training schools won't be having the large intakes of instructors like they used to. Prior to covid my school would take just about any grade of FIR with any experience. Now we're not taking any onboard. Flight instructors won't be leaving schools as they have no RPT jobs to go to, and experienced instructors will be returning from stood down RPT jobs.

All the same, if you like aviating, it's a good rating to earn.
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Last edited by Styx75; 19th May 2020 at 08:38.
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Old 19th May 2020, 07:39
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Think before you leap.
I've been there and done that.
The employer will want someone with longevity. They will see you as a pilot that will move on as soon as you find a airline job. Nevermind instructors in place already before covid, and the downturn in students. Just because of your hours and experience doesn't make you a sure thing. Further, the harsh reality of competition of those co-worker instructors with low experience battling you for you flight hours; seeing you as someone that doesn't need them. Sorry to rain on the parade, but I am bringing some reality.
If you are already instructor qualified from your past then nothing to lose, but if all that qualification investment $ is ahead of you, be very careful.
Of course, it's also a good ploy to bring some income from your wallet into the training industry too...
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Old 19th May 2020, 11:33
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Pre-covid, Grade 1 or 2 instructors were in demand, in particular the Grade 1 with IRTA/META. Part 61 Instructor Ratings are a different animal to the CAR5. It is now expensive to add training approvals to your Part 61 Rating. If you had a CAR5 Rating it would be a matter of an Instructor Proficiency Check with the appropriate preparation. RPL's for quals that sound similar to the requirements won't happen, it wouldn't matter if you taught Bob Hoover to fly.

If you are doing it from scratch you will come out with a bare Grade 3 which will 'entitle' you to the Ab-Initio training until you add training approvals, not cheap. Pre-covid, some organisations may spot you the cost of these approvals for a return of service, now? I doubt it. Part 61 is the covid of the GA world, a disaster. It is an incredibly difficult, at times, document to interpret along with the MOS, CASR's etc. Do you want to put yourself through this for a year or two?

If I had one of you fellas approach me for a job, I'd love to have you on board, but I know you'd be out the door faster than Wayne Carey chasing a hens night party as soon as something better came along. You're not a good prospect for a business.
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Old 19th May 2020, 12:41
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Originally Posted by Bodie1 View Post
If you are doing it from scratch you will come out with a bare Grade 3 which will 'entitle' you to the Ab-Initio training until you add training approvals, not cheap.
Grade 3's are able to provide instruction up to the CPL.
The basic restrictions are:
  • Can't send first solo's
  • Can't perform flight reviews
  • Can't grant RPL navigation endorsements
Some non basic stuff like can't be a HOO, ATO etc.

The jump from G3 to G2 happens pretty quickly, around 6-8months at a reasonably busy GA school (200hrs abinitio). G3's usually do get dumped with the ab-initio which helps on the upgrade front (and the pay rise that comes with it, though do remember you get the a payrise when you get 300hours total instructing).
Most respectable training organisations will support the instructor in getting their additional training endorsements... NVFR TE, Design Feature etc as it will help the company. They would be a little more cautious about handing out META and IRTE as they are a fair bit more expensive (And the instructor becomes a lot more valuable once they have those).

Going to G1 (500hrs abinitio) usually leads to a decrease in flying as you take on more administrative roles, but generally more MEA time. You also start babysitting the G3's who are by nature, fighting off job offers to lead lockheed martins's check and training programme.
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Old 19th May 2020, 13:30
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So , with respect, after years of your colleagues hanging crap on GA, you now decide to give us the benefit of your expertise? Iím not impressed. Exactly what relevance to VFR stick and rudder flying is airline experience? Can we talk about spin training in a B787 versus a Cessna 172? Stalling behaviour and recovery of an Airbus versus a Cirrus?

Exactly what relevance has airline flying got to do with aGA or recreational flying? We already know how to follow the magenta line.

I believe Airbus actually advised the reverse - airline pilots need stick and rudder skills.

ĎíTo put that another way, your colleagues have been talking down to us for years (Capt. Bloggs) and now you want to join us? I know there are some airline pilots with a passion for small stuff, but really!
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Old 19th May 2020, 13:45
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
Exactly what relevance to VFR stick and rudder flying is airline experience?!
About as much as a freshly minted 200hr G3, if not more. I've always wish i had some RPT experience to pass on to the students headed that way.

And most if not all RPT pilots started in GA. He could've been spreading phosphate for a decade for all you know. Check your attitude.
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Old 19th May 2020, 13:48
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Sunfish, would you rather be taught by an ex-airline pilot or a 200 hour CPL with a fresh instructor rating? Because the latter is extremely prevalent.

C'mon Sunny, give us a trademark pearler for your 8000th.
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Old 19th May 2020, 14:35
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Grade 3's are able to provide instruction up to the CPL.
Yes they can, but they won't be delivering CPL training. Not in any school I know of. If an airline pilot is migrating back to CPL Instruction, there's a fair bit to get back on top of.

The basic restrictions are:
  • Can't send first solo's
  • Can't perform flight reviews
  • Can't grant RPL navigation endorsements
With all due respect, you're calling those 'basic' restrictions?

You're talking about what they theoretically can do, I'm talking the reality of this scenario. I think that's what this fella is looking for.

The reputable schools that are forking out for the training approvals require return of service or bonds, personally I don't think these candidates will hang around for that long.
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Old 19th May 2020, 15:08
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Originally Posted by Sunfish
So , with respect, after years of your colleagues hanging crap on GA, you now decide to give us the benefit of your expertise? I’m not impressed. Exactly what relevance to VFR stick and rudder flying is airline experience? Can we talk about spin training in a B787 versus a Cessna 172? Stalling behaviour and recovery of an Airbus versus a Cirrus?

Exactly what relevance has airline flying got to do with aGA or recreational flying? We already know how to follow the magenta line.

I believe Airbus actually advised the reverse - airline pilots need stick and rudder skills.

‘’To put that another way, your colleagues have been talking down to us for years (Capt. Bloggs) and now you want to join us? I know there are some airline pilots with a passion for small stuff, but really!
Are you serious?
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Old 19th May 2020, 15:21
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So , with respect, after years of your colleagues hanging crap on GA, you now decide to give us the benefit of your expertise?
Hey Sunfish - Do I detect just a teeny weeney bit of professional jealousy maybe?
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Old 19th May 2020, 15:45
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
So , with respect, after years of your colleagues hanging crap on GA, you now decide to give us the benefit of your expertise? Iím not impressed. Exactly what relevance to VFR stick and rudder flying is airline experience? Can we talk about spin training in a B787 versus a Cessna 172? Stalling behaviour and recovery of an Airbus versus a Cirrus?

Exactly what relevance has airline flying got to do with aGA or recreational flying? We already know how to follow the magenta line.

I believe Airbus actually advised the reverse - airline pilots need stick and rudder skills.

ĎíTo put that another way, your colleagues have been talking down to us for years (Capt. Bloggs) and now you want to join us? I know there are some airline pilots with a passion for small stuff, but really!
Don't forget there are many airline pilots who previously have thousands of hours in GA, some of which are dual given hours as flights instructors.
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Old 19th May 2020, 21:44
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Hey Bloggsie, donít feed the troll. Sunfish would not know what some airline pilots built or flew, and where we flew, in time out from our day jobs.







Last edited by Mach E Avelli; 19th May 2020 at 22:02.
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Old 19th May 2020, 21:58
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Mach, I know some airline pilots are into small stuff and I acknowledged that. I am also aware that some airline pilots are using the stand down to build, or start to build right now.

What my pos was referring to was the habit of some airline pilots of throwing their weight around - and now they want to join what they consider to be the lower ranks again?
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Old 19th May 2020, 22:07
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Agreed some airline jocks do come across a bit heavy. The ones that throw their weight around won’t last five minutes in a typical GA enterprise where the customer is king. But that leaves some very talented pilots who could offer a lot to GA, if only GA is big enough to accept them.
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Old 19th May 2020, 22:22
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Out of interest Sunny, how many airline pilots have you come across in the GA environment throwing their weight around?
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Old 19th May 2020, 22:41
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Originally Posted by Bodie1 View Post
Yes they can, but they won't be delivering CPL training.

You're talking about what they theoretically can do, I'm talking the reality of this scenario.


I'm talking about the reality of what I did as a G3, and what my school still has its G3's do right now. And that is training up to the CPL.
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Old 19th May 2020, 22:59
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
What my pos was referring to was the habit of some airline pilots of throwing their weight around - and now they want to join what they consider to be the lower ranks again?
No, you just need to check your attitude. At least go start your own whine thread about instructors coming back from RPT rather than hijacking this thread.
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